Emphasizing the 'ability' in 'disability' - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Emphasizing the 'ability' in 'disability'

Posted: May 11, 2018 5:30 PM Updated:

Next week's Ability Fair will feature gifted artists selling their creations, and live entertainment with the goal to find fulfilling jobs.

The fair is more than just an arts and crafts fair, as Monica Limtiaco said, "On a personal level, I'm also a parent. My son is only eight, so I need to prepare for the future because I one day want him to be employed regardless of how significant his disability is."  There's a need to employ people with disabilities says Limtiaco, the lead treatment specialist at Guma' Mami, who also introduced KUAM to some of the featured artists.

It included Mar-Vic Cagurangan's son Iko, who is now 25 years old, and was diagnosed with autism when he was four. "I didn't know what he can do I didn't under his thought process," she said. "There are things that I thought he wasn't going to be able to, like ride a bike, I wasn't sure if he was going to be independent."

After moving to Guam from the Philippines, she learned though her son had trouble speaking, he had a knack for digitally painting cars and took after his mom handcrafting bracelets. "Until now, he's 25, he still likes toy cars anything with wheels," she explained. "This is just among the hundreds that he has made."

Today Iko works at Flame Tree Freedom Center, Trisha Michelle Atoigue says linking artists with community businesses is a major goal of the fair. "On my free time when I don't have a job I have a backdoor job," she said. "That could help us in the future and get a job."

Not to mention, all the pieces are for sale. Artists eager to invite the community to join them next week Friday at the Sinajana Community Center from 6 to 9pm. "Some of the things that catch your eye, we did wonderful," she said.

The event is free and open to the public, a Friday night highlighting the strengths, talent, and ability of those with disabilities.

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